Anti–white spot syndrome virus activity of Ceriops tagal aqueous extract in giant tiger shrimp Penaeus monodon
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White spot syndrome virus (WSSV), the most contagious pathogen of cultured shrimp, causes mass mortality, leading to huge economic loss to the shrimp industry. The lack of effective therapeutic or prophylactic measures has aggravated the situation, necessitating the development of antiviral agents. With this objective, the antiviral activity in the aqueous extract of a mangrove plant Ceriops tagal in Penaeus monodon was evaluated. The Ceriops tagal aqueous extract (CTAE) was non-toxic to shrimps at 50 mg/ml when injected intramuscularly at a dosage of 10 μL/animal (0.5 mg/animal) and showed a protective effect against WSSV at 30 mg/ml when mixed with WSSV suspension at a 1:1 ratio. When the extract was administered along with the diet and the animals were challenged orally, there was a dose-dependent increase in survival, culminating in 100 % survival at a concentration of 500 mg/kg body weight/day. Neither hypertrophied nuclei nor the viral envelope protein VP28 could be demonstrated in surviving shrimps using histology and indirect immunofluorescence histochemistry (IIFH), respectively. To elucidate the mode of action, the temporal expression of WSSV genes and shrimp immune genes, including antimicrobial peptides, was attempted. None of the viral genes were found to be expressed in shrimps that were fed with the extract and challenged or in those that were administered CTAE-exposed WSSV. The overall results suggest that the aqueous extract from C. tagal can protect P. monodon from white spot syndrome virus infection.
KeywordsWhite Spot Syndrome Virus Immune Gene Cidofovir Penaeus Monodon White Spot Syndrome Virus Infection
This work was carried out with financial assistance from the Department of Biotechnology under the projects BT/PR3509/AAQ/03/173/2000 and BT/PR7419/AAQ/03/274/2006. We acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology, Lakshadweep, for the partial supply of mangrove plants, and Mr. Krishna Iyer, Scientist, CIFT, Cochin (Rtd) for statistical analysis. We thankfully acknowledge Dr. A. Mohandas, Emeritus Professor, NCAAH, for editing the manuscript. The first author thanks DBT for a fellowship.
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